Holiday Birding 2019 at Sweetwater Wetlands and Atterbury Wash, Tucson

Holiday Greetings!
I am lucky enough to have family in Tucson, and so when I spend the holidays there, birding naturally is part of the fun. My sister Cathy is great about taking me to all the hot spots. Over Thanksgiving we went to Sweetwater Treatment Plant and a new place for us called Atterbury Wash.

We saw 29 birds at Sweetwater, the best of which was probably American Bittern. Sweetwater is good for folks with mobility challenges. There are sidewalks and hard-packed dirt paths. There is a difficult stretch with gravel embedded in the dirt, but stay along the edges to avoid.

At Atterbury Wash, we picked up 19 great birds on Dec. 1, including Gambel's Quail, Abert's and Green-tailed Towhee, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Phainopepla, and Pyrroluxia.

Over Christmas we retuned to my new favorite spot, Atterbury Wash in Lincoln Park. Be sure to put in the address, 8300 Escalante Rd., to get to the right place.

Though the park does have easy places for wheelchairs to bird along the parking lot and around portions of the big grassy center, the more interesting paths through the low understory are tougher. The paths are sandy dirt and in some places, deep and impossible without help from an able body. Still, after getting through these parts, the experience of being deep in a desert woods is really fun! Though we saw fewer birds in late December, we were treated to great looks at a Prairie Falcon, a lifer for me.

Stay tuned for the upcoming 2020 Birdability schedule.

Good birding to all in 2020!